When my son was born, he was so small I could hold him in the fold of my forearm. I stared in his eyes and wondered what promises God specifically had for him? What were the dreams that would be implanted in his heart? I knew immediately I wanted another child that would be his forever companion and sibling. My baby girl was born exactly 2 years later. While the plan of being best friends did not exactly pan out the way I imagined, they were companions, rivals, playmates, and even frenemies at times!
Through that season of raising babies, it was hard, it was challenging. I worried about their development, as a matter of fact I worried about EVERYTHING!!! I worried that one day they would choose not to serve the Lord. I worried that they wouldn’t have friends! Or worse, I worried that they would have friends that lead them away from God. I worried that they wouldn’t do good in school or that they would sit alone in the cafeteria. I worried they wouldn’t make the team and mostly I worried that they would grow up and not need me anymore😢💔
Through each season of raising them I wondered if it would ever end. Would the diapers ever end? Would picking up the toys, I just cleaned up 2 seconds ago, ever end? Would the homework ever end? Would all the practices, games, and tournaments ever end? When will I stop running to the 24-hour Walmart to buy cupcakes for the party at school or supplies for a forgotten project due in the morning? Will the countless fees and checks written for school activities ever end? Would the question, “What’s for dinner?” ever stopped being asked?
When my children were babies and I was an untamed, unkept, housewife because of my lack of domestic skills, I deeply resented the women who had lived through it and told me to enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast. It wasn’t going by fast enough and I had the bags under my eyes and the throw up on my shirt to prove it. They were right though. With each season, the minute I began to enjoy it, it was over. It’s exactly like the Bible says about our lives, that it is like “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes, (James 4:14).
Twenty one years later, we are officially empty nesters! And most of these years I was thinking “when are your butts leaving my house?” LOL But seriously, I caught myself thinking that, more than once, because the weight of the responsibility of having children can be so heavy. I didn’t want to ruin them, even though, according to them, I have ruined their lives at least 100 times before they turned 18! More often than not, my thoughts were filled with questions like, “what am I going to do when y’all grow up?” “who is going to be there to laugh at my jokes or laugh at me for trying to be funny?”
Part of personal growth is self-reflection. In order for me to enjoy the next season, I have to reflect on the old season and identify what areas I have grown or areas that still need to be developed. Here are some lessons I learned during those years:
Lesson #1 I learned there is a time for everything. Madeleine Albright said “I do think women can have it all, but not all at the same time. Our life comes in segments, and we have to understand that we can have it all if we’re not trying to do it all at once.” In other words, we can do all the things, just maybe not at the same time.
Lesson #2 I learned how to appreciate the season I was in. Part of appreciating the season was learning to reflect on what God was doing. Reflect on what you’re learning. Reflect on your passion. Is your passion shifting and evolving? What are the lessons you need to learn to prepare you for the next season?
Lesson #3 Don’t be afraid to enter your next season. It can be scary when you know a season is coming to an end. But God gave you strength and direction in the last season, He will be with you in the new season.
Lesson #4 No matter your season, good and bad, it will end…It will end, because “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). So, it may feel never-ending but rest assured there is an end.
My husband and I are looking at this new season of our lives the same way I looked at my son when he was born. Our eyes are filled with hope, promise, and expectancy! What dreams and promises will be fulfilled in this season? What amazing experiences does God have and where will he take us next?
So, my children have flown the coop and in a sense, we are flying the coop as well. We are freeing ourselves to the fullness of God's promises. We are freeing ourselves to new adventures. We are freeing ourselves to a revised version of our relationship with our adult children. We are freeing ourselves to a new level of intimacy in our marriage relationship. We are freeing ourselves from the burden of wondering who they will become, to understanding God has it all under control and He has our children in his loving hands.
As we are acclimating to this new transition, my husband and I have promised ourselves to keep moving forward. In order to do that we have promised to listen intently for God’s next steps in our lives, to be teachable, to be flexible, to be adaptable, and most importantly to be obedient when He calls. And when I talk about obedience I don’t just mean being obedient in the BIG grand promises, but to be obedient in all the LITTLE things. We have promised to enjoy the small moments and the large ones knowing that tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
So, I challenge you to recognize the season you're in, appreciate every good and bad moment in that season, don’t fear the next season, and realize when each season comes to an end another is just beginning!
I want to leave you with this, enjoy your season because there will never be another one just like it❤️
Take some time to reflect and journal about the questions below. Look up the verses and let God speak to you!
What has God revealed to you about your season? Share with us in the comments and SHARE this with your friends on social media!
GROWTH THROUGH SELF-REFLECTION
What season are you in right now?
What season do you wish you were in?
Are you in the beginning, middle, or end of a season?
Are you enjoying the season?
If not, what can you do to begin to enjoy this current season?
What is God trying to teach you through this season? In other words, have you learned the lessons that you need to learn to graduate to the next season?
What are you passionate about in this season? Is it different than your last season? Has your passion shifted or evolved?
Have you done the things that God has asked you to do and walked in obedience in this season?
Are you looking forward to the end of this season? Or do you want to enjoy it a little more?
Are you afraid to enter your next season? Why or why not?